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Department of Meteorology – University of Reading

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Stephen Burt

Visiting Fellow within the Department of Meteorology

(Following retirement in July 2018)


Web Pages

Oxford Weather and Climate since 1767 (Oxford University Press)

The Weather Observer's Handbook (Cambridge University Press)


Research Interests

  • UK climatology - and in particular the long series of records from the Radcliffe Observatory, Oxford (1767 to date) - the subject of a new book by Oxford University Press, jointly authored with Tim Burt (emeritus professor of Geography, University of Durham), to be published in May 2019
  • The University of Reading's weather records, which commenced in 1901
  • Documentation and climatology of weather extremes, particularly related to the British Isles and precipitation return periods
  • Meteorological instruments and weather observing
  • Comparison of methods of measuring air temperature (passive and aspirated thermometer screens)
  • Meteorological effects of solar eclipses
  • Saharan dust - lifting and transport mechanisms to western Europe (dustfalls)
  • History of Science, particularly related to meteorology
  • Weather photography, still and timelapse

CURRENT Research Projects

  • Collation, analysis and publication of the meteorological records from the Radcliffe Observatory, Oxford, from 1767 (book joint-authored with Professor Tim Burt - no relation - Emeritus Professor of Geography at the University of Durham, to be published by Oxford University Press in May 2019)
  • Air humidity on Ben Nevis (joint paper with Ed Hawkins, published in the International Journal of Climatology, March 2019, doi: 10.1002/joc.6084 )
  • One Hundred Years of Reading Weather (2015 book, with Roger Brugge)
  • Mountain meteorology: the Ben Nevis and Fort William hourly dataset, 1883-1904 (with Ed Hawkins) - CEDA link here
  • Publication of thermometer screen comparisons - Stevenson screen, automatic weather station type and aspirated screens
  • Laboratory determination and comparison of the response time characteristics of meteorological platinum resistance thermometers used to measure air temperature
  • Weather and Photography - including cloud timelapse sequences (Science Photo Library contributor)

student supervision

  • MSc 2015: Charles Malyon, Comparative performance of surface relative humidity measurements
  • BSc 2016/17: Jack Wade, A critical analysis of the representation of extreme air temperatures measured at Gravesend-Broadness
  • BSc 2017/18: Aaron Nicholson, Reading’s Urban Heat Island
  • MSc 2017/18: Lucy Aylott, Nature and cause of extreme UK wind gusts
  • MMet 2018/19: Nicola Stebbing, Extreme snowfall events in southern and south-eastern England – are they becoming more or less frequent?


  • Fellow of the Royal Meteorological Society (FRMetS)
  • Member of the American Meteorological Society (AMS)
  • Member, Scientific Instruments Society (SIS)
  • Committee Member, Royal Meteorological Society Special Interest Group on Meteorological Observing Systems, 2005 to date
  • Chairman, Royal Meteorological Society South-East Local Centre, 2010-2016
  • Chairman, Climatological Observers Link, 2011 to date
  • Public Engagement including Media and local community group presentations


ORCID link

Reverse chronological order, last 6 years only

Burt, S., and E. Hawkins, 2019: Near-zero humidities on Ben Nevis, Scotland, revealed by pioneering nineteenth century observers and modern volunteers. Int. J. Climatol., doi: 10.1002/joc.6084

Burt, Stephen, 2018: Meteorological impacts of the total solar eclipse of 21 August 2017. Weather, March 2018

Burt, Stephen, 2017: Mercury sunset. Meteorol. Tech. Intl, 2017(4),16-20.
Burt, Stephen, 2017: A remarkably prolonged period of low humidity in southern England, 25/26 March 2017. Weather, 72, 164-165.
Burt, Stephen, 2016: New extreme monthly rainfall totals for the United Kingdom and Ireland: December 2015. Weather, 71, 333-338.
Burt, S., M. McCarthy, M. Kendon, and J. Hannaford, 2016: Cumbrian floods, 5/6 December 2015. Weather, 71, 36-37.
Burt, S., and M. Kendon, 2016: December 2015 – an exceptionally mild month in the United Kingdom. Weather, 71, 314-320.
Burt, Stephen, 2016: The Scarborough storm of August 1857. Weather, 71, 19-21.
Burt, Stephen, 2016: Meteorological responses in the atmospheric boundary layer over southern England to the deep partial eclipse of 20 March 2015. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences, 374.
Burt, Stephen, 2016: Field test: Lambrecht rain[e] high-precision precipitation sensor. Envirotech-Online.
Brugge, R., and S. Burt, 2015: One hundred years of Reading Weather. Climatological Observers Link/University of Reading, 193 pp.
Burt, Stephen, 2014: Britain's lowest barometric pressure since 1886. Weather, 69, 79-81.
Burt, Stephen, 2014: Here comes the Sun: After 130 years, has the Campbell-Stokes sunshine recorder finally met its match? Meteorol. Tech. Intl, 2014, p 92.
Burt, Stephen, 2014: Catastrophic forecast: A look back at the events of hurricane Sandy. Meteorol. Tech. Intl, 2014, 70-73.
Burt, Stephen, 2013: An unsung hero in meteorology: Charles Higman Griffith (1830–1896). Weather, 68, 135-138.
Burt, Stephen, 2013: Forecast models move to ever-finer resolutions. Can observations keep up? Meteorol. Tech. Intl, 2013, 38-41.
Burt, Stephen, 2013: Synoptic transport and deposition of Saharan dust to the British Isles. MSc Dissertation, Department of Meteorology, University of Reading, 126 pp.
Burt, Stephen, 2012: The Weather Observer's Handbook. Cambridge University Press, xii, 444 p.

Earlier publications, in chronological order. Not all are available online, but please contact me directly if you would like a PDF.

Burt, Stephen, 1975: The climate of Rugby: Part 1, Temperature. J. Meteorol. UK, 1, 9-14.
Burt, Stephen, 1976: The climate of Rugby: Part 2, Rainfall. J. Meteorol. UK, 1, 149-155.
Burt, Stephen, 1976: The great gale of 2 January 1976. J. Meteorol. UK, 1, 196-197.
Burt, Stephen, 1976: Rainfall deficiencies, May 1975 to April 1976. J. Meteorol. UK, 1, 288-290.
Burt, Stephen, 1976: The Coventry tornado of 5 August 1975. J. Meteorol. UK, 1, 342-346.
Burt, S., and D. R. Harris, 1976: Vivid thunderstorm over Coventry, 7 May 1976. J. Meteorol. UK, 2, 13-17.
Burt, Stephen, 1978: The blizzards of February 1978 in south-west Britain. J. Meteorol. UK, 3, 261-278.
Burt, Stephen, 1980: Snowfall in Britain during winter 1978/79. Weather, 35, 288-301.
Burt, Stephen, 1980: Rainfall in the United Kingdom during 1978. J. Meteorol. UK, 5, 37-61.
Burt, Stephen, 1982: Heavy rainfall and snowstorms, 23-26 April 1981. Weather, 37, 108-115.
Burt, S. D., 1982: The curious case of the horizontal icicles. Meteorol. Mag., 111, 183-184.
Burt, S., 1983: Summer 1983 in the United Kingdom. Weather, 38, 320-323.
Burt, Stephen, 1983: New UK 20th Century low pressure extreme. Weather, 38, 209-213.
Burt, Stephen, 1984: Minimum temperatures, 14 January 1982. Weather, 39, 372-373.
Burt, Stephen, 1984: The UK drought 1984. Weather, 39, 350-351.
Burt, Stephen, 1985: Sleet and snow in June 1985. Weather, 40, 222-222.
Burt, Stephen, 1985: Remarkable pressure fall at Valentia, 17 October 1984. Weather, 40, 48-51.
Burt, Stephen, 1986: A wet winter in southern Berkshire. J. Meteorol. UK, 11, 102.
Burt, Stephen, 1986: High absolute humidities in Ireland, 12-13 July 1983. Meteorol. Mag., 115, 406-410.
Burt, S. D., and D. A. Mansfield, 1988: The Great Storm of 15-16 October 1987. Weather, 43, 90-110.
Burt, Stephen, 1987: The severe gale of 16 October 1987 in Berkshire and Hampshire. J. Meteorol. UK, 12, 332-338.
Burt, Stephen, 1987: A new North Atlantic low pressure record. Weather, 42, 53-56.
Burt, Stephen, 1987: Errors in snow measurement (Letter to the Editor). Weather, 42, 58-60.
Burt, Stephen, 1987: The severe gale of 16 October 1987 in Berkshire and Hampshire. J. Meteorol. UK, 12, 332-338.
Burt, Stephen, 1987: Deep depressions. The Times, London, 22 October 1987
Burt, Stephen, 1989: London's lowest barometric pressure in 167 years. Weather, 44, 221-225.
Burt, Stephen, 1991: Falls of dust rain within the British Isles. Weather, 46, 347-353.
Burt, Stephen, 1991: Falls of dust rain in Berkshire, March 1991. Weather, 46, 248.
Burt, Stephen, 1992: Pinatubo sunsets (Letters to the Editor). Weather, 47, 492-494.
Burt, Stephen, 1992: The exceptional hot spell of early August 1990 in the United Kindgom. Int. J. Climatol., 12, 547-567.
Burt, Stephen, 1992: The remarkably anticyclonic winter of 1991/92 (Letter to the Editor). Weather, 47, 273-274.
Burt, Stephen, 1992: Fall of dust rain, 11 October 1991 (Letter to the Editor). Weather, 47, 138-143.
Burt, Stephen, 1992: Weather and streamflow in central southern England during water year 1989/90. Weather, 47, 2-10.
Burt, Stephen, 1993: Another new North Atlantic low pressure record. Weather, 48, 98-103.
Burt, Stephen, 1995: A violent January hailstorm. Weather, 50, 325-328.
Burt, Stephen, 1997: The Altnaharra minimum temperature of −27.2°C on 30 December 1995. Weather, 52, 134-144.
Burt, Stephen, 2000: A notably wet year in central southern England — 1999. Weather, 55, 417-420.
Burt, Stephen, 2000: A cluster of intense rainfall events in West Berkshire, summer 1999. Weather, 55, 356-363.
Burt, Stephen, 2001: Low relative humidities in England and Wales, Sunday 18 June 2000. Weather, 56, 197-203.
Burt, Stephen, 2001: April 2000 — an extraordinarily wet month in southern England. Weather, 56, 139-140.
Burt, Stephen, 2002: The Bracknell storm, 7 May 2000. Weather, 57, 422-424.
Burt, Stephen, 2003: Funnel cloud over north Cornwall on 1 August 2002. Weather, 58, 273-275.
Burt, Stephen, 2004: The August 2003 heatwave in the United Kingdom: Part 1, Maximum temperatures and historical precedents. Weather, 59, 199-208.
Burt, S., and P. Eden, 2004: The August 2003 heatwave in the United Kingdom. Part 2 – The hottest sites. Weather, 59, 239-246.
Burt, Stephen, 2004: The August 2003 heatwave in the United Kingdom: part 3, Minimum temperatures. Weather, 59, 272-273.
Burt, S., 2005: Cloudburst upon Hendraburnick Down: The Boscastle storm of 16 August 2004. Weather, 60, 219-227.
Burt, Stephen, 2006: Britain's highest barometric pressure on record is incorrect. Weather, 61, 210-211.
Burt, Stephen, 2006: Reduction in atmospheric transparency as a result of the Hemel Hempstead fire, 11–12 December 2005. Weather, 61, 156-158.
Burt, Stephen, 2006: Barometric pressure during the Irish storm of 6–7 January 1839. Weather, 61, 22-27.
Burt, Stephen, 2007: A comparison of traditional and modern methods of measuring earth temperatures. Weather, 62, 331-336.
Burt, Stephen, 2007: The Highest of the Highs … Extremes of barometric pressure in the British Isles, Part 2 – the most intense anticyclones. Weather, 62, 31-41.
Burt, Stephen, 2007: The Lowest of the Lows … extremes of barometric pressure in the British Isles, part 1 – the deepest depressions. Weather, 62, 4-14.
Burt, Stephen, 2007: The dustfall of 24/25 March 2007 over southern England. Weather, 62, 317-318.
Burt, Stephen, 2008: Intense anticyclone over north‐west Russia, early January 2008. Weather, 63, 174-176.
Burt, Stephen, 2008: Ice candle. Weather, 63, 84-84.
Burt, Stephen, 2008: Prolonged day darkness and extreme rainfall in Berkshire, 20 July 2007. Weather, 63, 24-26.
Burt, Stephen, 2009: Noctilucent clouds. Weather, 64, 238-238.
Burt, Stephen, 2009: Long-term variations in extremes of barometric pressure in the British Isles. Weather, 64, 187-189.
Eden, P., and S. Burt, 2010: Weather image: Extreme rainfall in Cumbria, 18-20 November 2009. Weather, 65, 14-14.
Burt, Stephen, 2010: British Rainfall 1860–1993. Weather, 65, 121-128.
Burt, Stephen, 2010: Book review: Measuring Global Temperatures: Their Analysis and Interpretation. by Ian Strangeways Cambridge University Press, November 2009 Hardback 233 pp + xviii ISBN. Weather
Burt, Stephen, 2011: Exceptionally low relative humidity in northern England, 2–3 March 2011. Weather, 66, 197-199.
Burt, S., and R. Brugge, 2011: Climatological averages for 1981-2010 and 2001-2010 for stations appearing in the monthly bulletin of the Climatological Observers Link. Climatological Observers Link.

Centaur Publications

Jump to: 2019 | 2018 | 2016
Number of items: 6.


Hawkins, E., Burt, S., Brohan, P., Lockwood, M., Richardson, H., Roy, M. and Thomas, S. (2019) Hourly weather observations from the Scottish Highlands (1883–1904) rescued by volunteer citizen scientists. Geoscience Data Journal. ISSN 2049-6060 doi:

Valdivieso Da Costa, M., Owens, M. J., Scott, C. J., Hawkins, E., Burt, S. and Craig, P. (2019) Thunderstorm occurrence at ten sites across Great Britain over 1884–1993. Geoscience Data Journal. ISSN 2049-6060 doi:

Burt, S. and Burt, T. (2019) Oxford weather and climate since 1767. Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK, pp544. ISBN 9780198834632

Burt, S. and Hawkins, E. (2019) Near-zero humidities on Ben Nevis, Scotland, revealed by pioneering 19th-century observers and modern volunteers. International Journal of Climatology. ISSN 0899-8418 doi:


Burt, S. (2018) Meteorological impacts of the total solar eclipse of 21 August 2017. Weather, 73 (3). pp. 90-95. ISSN 0043-1656 doi:


Burt, S. (2016) Meteorological responses in the atmospheric boundary layer over southern England to the deep partial eclipse of 20 March 2015. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences, 374 (2077). 20150214. ISSN 1364-503X doi: (themed issue: Atmospheric effects of solar eclipses stimulated by the 2015 UK eclipse)

This list was generated on Mon Oct 21 10:07:33 2019 UTC.

Last update: 23rd April 2019



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